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1653 Eo5t Mai" Streel 

Rochestiir. New I'ork t4609 USA 

(716) 482 - 0300 - Phone 

■716) 28« - 5989 - Fax 



JUNE. 1917 



No. 3 



THE 



ROUND TABLE 

IN CANADA 



A CANADIAN MOVEMOIT FOR 
DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 



REVIEW OF RECENT LITERATURE 
ON THE SUBJECT OF 

"The Relations of Canada 
to the Empire/* 



REPRINTED FROM 

"Review of Historical Poblicalioiis Relating to Canada." 

VOL. XXI. 1916. 



THE ROUND TABLE IN CANADA 
Offices: 84 ST. MARY STREET. TORONTO. 



L H ki ' ^ ^ 



REVIEW OF RECENT LITERATURE 
ON THE SUBJECT OF 

THE RELATIONS OF CANADA TO 
THE EMPIRE 



Democracy and Empire. By A. E. Uuchesnt-. (Royal 
Colonial Institute Monojjraphs.) Toroiitt): Oxford 
University Press, 1916. Pp. viii, 120. 

Cleon's famous remark that "a democracy cannot 
govern an empire" has done duty on many an examination 
pap)er. In attempting a serious enquiry into its truth Mr. 
Duchesne has furnished students of the Empire and its 
problems with more valuable and detailed information on 
the dependencies of th<> crown than, we believe, can be 
found anywhere in the same compass. F"or the excellence of 
these later chapters and the graphical appendices one can 
well forgive a slightly youthful Tor>'ism in the earlier part 
and the use of "proletariate" on page 9 and "proletarian" 
on page 19. 

Mr. Duchesne might also have gone to Thucydides for 
the conception, on which he does well to insist, that democracy 
must mean the whole p)eople and not the People, for the 
speech of Athenagoras i, VI. 39) makes the first announcement 
of this political wisdom. 

Of course, Mr. Duchesne's finding is that history on 
the whole bears Cleon out, with reservation in the case of 
France, where Democracy has certainly done better than 
Empire. This is due parl'y to common citizenship betv — i 
the more advanced colonies and the mother country, a.. J 
partly to the fact that "the average Frenchman, not being 
a prospective colonist himself, has very little interest in 
colonial matters, which are therefore left to ex ^erts". This 
latter reason reminds one of the passive virtue which Aris- 
totle and Mommsen find in undeveloped democracy. Mr. 
Duchesne emphasizes the necessity of trusting the "man on 
the spot", and it surely remains the wisdom of der- ocracy 



or people, 



2 ClTvRey: British Colonial Policy 

that while it must know and watch, whetht 
it must also trust. 

We must accept the universal modern 1 d toward 
democratic forms of government. If an ideal di-mocracy 
"is one which is so governed as to afford the fullest possible 
recognition of the rights of individual citizens, whilst these 
citizens in their turn are possessed of an adecjuate ideal of 
duty", if we work toward that ideal and succeed in lifting 
the government of dependencies antl for^'ign policy in general 
out of the range of partisan politics, is it not credible that 
such a democracy could govern p( oples on their path toward 
self-government? As a matter of fact, our democracy 
must. 

Canadians will observe with deep intertst the rise of 
the question of fiscal autonomy in India, and the article 
of the London Spectator on "India and the Empire" of 
March lo, 1917, furnishes practical comment on the chapters 
on India and Indian problems. The author may well claim 
that two years of the war have made some of his doctrine, 
which must have seemed revolutionary to half of his people, 
the common-places of newspaper discussion, and he himself 
admits that "much of what seemed to be the character of 
our democracy has v; lished". 



British Colonial Policy, 1783-IQ15. By C. H. Currey. 
Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1916. Pp. 266, 

There is a significant parallel, which Mr. Currey has 
not observed, between his heroes, "the theorists of 1830", 
and the pre., nt group of young Englishmen who co-operat&i 
in the creation of the last great Dominion and then gav; 
tl emselves to the study of the whole Imperial problem ii- 
the Round Table movement. Durham, Wakefield, Buller 
and Molesworth are justly entitled to be called the fathers 
of colonial autonomy. History has not yet passed its verdict 
on the v/ork of the other group. 

In this brief and excellent survey of the evolution of 
self-government in the Dominions Mr. Currey sees a process 
at work which he personally hopes will find its term in (we 



890954 



riRRKY: British Colonial Polka 



condense for him) "a pt'rmanent union' on ttrnis of abso- 
lute ef|uality, of "puissant nations", acknowleclginjj their 
allegiance to one sovereign He would frankly vM\ himself 
a natitmalist. He is apparently unaware of Mr. luvart'; 
Kingdom . ap-rs. The Ixtrayals of Canadian interests 
which impart a regrettable bitterness to Mr. Ewart's work 
arc here paralleled by the oflficious blundering of "Mr. 
Mother Country". But it cannot Ix' said that there is 
any animus. With generous fairness Mr. Currey points out 
the reluctance of the colonies to assume the luirdep of their 
home defence, and, while he severely censures Mr. Churchill's 
concentration of the fleet in the North Sea without con- 
sultation with the Dominion go\emments, he recognize" 
its wisdom. Though these "puissant nations" will be 
ix)und together by "co-operative alliances" (sic), Mr. (\jrrcy 
would doubtless repudiate any charge of advocating a 
British alliance of ; vereign nations. He has evidtntly 
not analysed the pro'jicm sufiftciently to realize the implica- 
tions of the " co-operr tion " in which he believes. He desires 
that the Dominions should have an equal voice in ft., 'ign 
policy, he admits that the Dominions are not contributing 
their proper share to the common defence, and he betrays 
no feeling of reluctance to share the Impefial responsibilities 
of war. His hope of solving the Imperial problem lies in 
developing the Imperial Conference. 

Mr. Currey's nationalism keeps its feet on the very 
solid earth. He is an ardent supporter of preferential trade. 
We C.J reminded that "during the first forty years of the 
nineteenth century there was no dispute of any moment 
between the Colonial Office and the colonies as to the nature 
of their commercial relations", and he quotes Adam Smith's 
remark, "as defence is of much more importance than 
opulen-e, the Act of Navigation is perhaps the wisest of all 
the commercial regulations of England". In a word, "pe- 
ferential trad^ is the enabling condition of Imperial unity", 
and the Imperial government has dangerously long denied 
the Dominions the trade advantages for which they ♦^jave 
persistently asked, a:.d which they once enjoyed in re- 



4 CuRRfcv: BRiTif«ii Colonial Policy 

markabU' measure (sec pp. 37-8). "Jan Hofineyr was 
only the first of modern Imperialists to warn ♦^he Empire 
that where a colony'^ treasure is, there would its heart be 
also". 

While Mr. Currey has made no attempt to analyse 
the eo-ojHTation for which he stands, he is at great pains 
to analyse and dismiss as impossible any such plan of feder- 
ation as Sir Joseph Ward's (made wholly, as we know, on 
his iKTsonol initiative): (i) Defence and foreign policy are 
lM)und up with commercial policy, which "wages war peace- 
fully on other nations". (2) Minority representation would 
be intolerable to the Dominions. (3) A federal parliament 
would encroach upon Dominion autonomy; Australia would 
have to abandon her navy; the Dominions could not con- 
trol their immigration, nor fix the conditions </ labour on 
their mercantile marine; had the Laurier-Taft ^ *ct been 
carried, it would have been annulled. (4) It has always 
been regarded with more favour in the homeland, but even 
there it would be rejected: "Authority cannot be shared", 
Mr. Asquith reminds us. (-) Liberalism in the United 
Kingdom would never abandon free trade. (6) Finally, 
India and the dependencies could not be given proportionate 
representation and would therefore be "condemned to 
remain permanently under the rule of the Colonial and Indian 
Office". 

In short, what M.. Currey reallv advocates, in urging 
the development of the beginning we have made in the 
Imperial Conference, is an Imperial "co-operation" of equals 
in which the Dominion co-operators have determined beforehand 
the plan of Imperial defence. "The only policy which is 
consonant with the nationalist aspirations of these Dominions 
and may be calculated to allay their fears is one which sup- 
ports the creation of Australian, New Zealand and Canadian 
Navies, growing as their Dominions grow and working with 
the units maintained by the Imperial government to safe- 
guard their interests in the far east, for the common ad- 
vantage of the Empire". 



Keith: Imperial Unity 5 

Truly this is nationalism in its youth and without 
much sense of hum-'ir. With this context Canadian naders 
will find inter, si in Mr. A C. Gardiner's article. Imperial 
Dej nee AJUr the War, in the Contemporary Review for 
January 191 7. "We must rememlwr". he says. *'that at 
lK)ttom the attachment i the colonies to the Umpire is an 
attachment of self-interest". Mr. Cardiner evidently 
contemplates with satisfaction the proVwbility that the sub- 
marine will banish 'he windy ideal of a federated Enr 'tc. 



Imperial Unity and the Dominions. By Arthur i •• ' --dale 
Keith. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1916. I'p. 626. 

On» loses this finely documented study with the feeling 
that the author of Responsible Government in the Dominions 
has rendered the Empire a real service at a very critical 
moment. Mr. Keith's sympathy vith the ideal of Imperial 
unity is deep, but he ii^ver allows himself to stray from the 
solid ground of fact and existing sentiment. His work 
is quite indispensable for the statesman, the constitutional 
lawyer and the serious student of political movement within 
the Empire; and it is difficult to say whether one more ad- 
mires his great knowledge of legal and constitutional detail 
or the skill with which he depic* ^he constitutional trend, 
the susceptibilities and local cf. ir of the various self- 
governing units of the Empire, iie Ix'lieves that the ulti- 
mate form which the Empire may take may well be one 
which has no existing parallel, but that with some form of 
unity as our goal or hope, the path of wisdom is, as far as 
possible, to complete autonomy in the parts while at the 
same time we go on to develop common action in the whole. 
He presents with sobering power the great difficulties to be 
surmounted in our progress toward any forms of federation, 
though his o^vn belief is not doubtful that they lie less in 
human perversity than in the immaturity of national youth. 
Time, liberty, responsibility will alter the latter, and the 
great experiences through which we are passing will, we may 
hope, so quicken the sense of Imperial duty that the rela- 
tions of the Dominions ,nd the United Kingdom will be 



6 Keith: Imperial Unity 

lifted out of the sphere of partisan conflict, that Dominion 
statesmen will less frequently make the naive confession of 
Sir Charles Tupper {Recollections oj Sixty Years, -p. 95), or 
Imperial statesmen regret the partisan use of the grave 
situation in Natal in 1906. 

Mr. Keith does not feel the wcakr -.s of the party system 
so keenly a"? Mr. Lash, but his solid volume bears a curious 
resemblance to the latter's modest book. It has an equally 
definite and practical purpose, being on the whole nothing 
less than an exhaustive argument for a series of clearly 
defined suggestions, which are presented in the conclusion 
for the consideration of the Imperial Conference at the 
close of the war. These suggestions would complete re- 
sponsible government in Canada in the fields of the declara- 
tion of martial law, the dissolution of Parliament, the exercise 
of the prerogative of pardon, and the regulation of merchant 
shipping, where Canadian autonomy is noi yet as complete 
as may be supposed. The Revised Statutes of 1906, for 
instance, embody a Copyright Act of 1889 and an Act 
providing for the marking of deck and load lines, neither 
of which the Imperial government has yet sanctioned. 
The power, moreover, of the Imperial government to reserve 
or disallow Dominion legislation should disappear. It 
should be possible, where Imperial interests are really 
involved, to secure modification in Dominion legislation by 
negotiation. Failing this, in a case of grave emergency, 
the Imperial Parliament could pass paramount legislation. 
Such legislation would be manifestly difficult to secure, and 
the recognition of this difficulty might be turned to political 
use in the Dominions. But, as against this undoubted 
danger, the sense of responsibility would be increased in 
the Dominions and might be trusted. He further urges that 
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council be transformed 
into a supreme court of final appeal for the Empire, by 
including in its members permanent and effective repre- 
sentation from the Dominions and transferring to it judicial 
appeals in the United Kingdom, which are now heard in 
the House of Lords. The Dominions should al»o be repre- 



Keith: Imperial Unitv 



sented, when desired, in all international conferences, political 
or otherwise, by plenipotentiaries nominated by their govern- 
ments and appointed by the King on the advice of the 
Imperial government. 

His three remaining suggestions are simple, but of 
supreme importance: 

(1) "It is an essential condition for the attainment of 
Imperii^l unity that the governments of the Dominions 
should take into their earnest consideration the means by 
which, while preser\'ing essential homogeneity of race, free 
and unrestricted entry into the territories shall be secured 
to all educated British Indian subjects, and that all restric- 
tions which are, at present, on grounds of race and colour 
only, imposed on British Indians who are legitimately 
resident in the self-governing Dominions should be rescinded." 

South Africa, of course, is the storm centre of the Indian 
problem. How must the educated British Indian think of 
his position as against that of the African negro? But 
neither can he forget that Canada welcomes Lithuanians, 
Doukhobors and Galicians but not British Indians. Mr. 
Keith urges, a step taken since he wrote, that India should 
be represented at the next Imperial Conference hy a member 
of the Indian race. Nothing would do so much to bring 
home to British and Dominion statesmen the gravity and 
character of the Indian problem, and the nature of the great 
responsibility which we have to carry. 

(2) If possible, a Dominion minister of cabinet rank 
should be continuously present in London to keep his govern- 
ment informed of foreign policy. 

"It may safely be predicted that, if the Dominion 
representatives are to have only such control of or intelli- 
gence of foreign policies in their relation to the Empire as 
they can pick up once in four years at a very much over- 
crowded conference, they are not likely to benefit the Empire 
very seriously by their advice" (p. 549). "It is creditable 
to the intelligence of Sir C. Tupper that as far back as 1891 
he saw quite clearly that the only possibility of establishing 
a Council of Advice would rest on the sending of ministers. 



8 



Keith: Imperial Unity 



not officials, to represent the government of the Dominions" 
(p- 547)- "Everything tends to show that the Committee 
of Imperial Defence will develop as a mode for the time 
being of assisting the appreciation of foreign affairs by the 
Dominions" (p, 550). 

Mr. Keith's whole treatment of this question of a voice 
in the control of foreign policy is characteristically sane and 
noble. It does not follow that to share the responsibility by 
taking common counsel in matters of foreign policy involves 
sharing authority, as Mr. Asquith would seem to have put 
it in the Imperial Conference in 191 1. Moreover, except in 
the literal constitutional sense, it certainly increases the 
responsibility of the Imperial government. For it would 
be a serious step to act contrary to the deliberate advice of 
the Dominions, and the necessity of justifying such a course 
to Parliament might sometimes exert a salutary influenc . 
Mr. Keith warns both Imperial and Dominion ministers 
against constructing too hastily the hard dilemma involved 
in this sharing of authority. 

(3) Lastly, Mr. Keith points to the object lesson of 
the present war in strategy. Civilization is being saved, we 
hope, by the presence of the Grand Fleet in the North Sea, 
and by this alone. The Fleet does not exist to draw the 
Empire together but to defend it, and sentiment must 
give way to strategy. He urges therefore that defence 
should be conceived upon an Imperial basis. The chapter 
on naval defence is singularly convincing and moderate. 
Local pride and patriotic sentiment could be sufficiently 
met by the possession of naval bases, cruisers, submarines 
and destroyers. 

Adoption of the foregoing counsels would, Mr. Keith 
conceives, constitute an Imperial partnership, a moral 
partnership, human, workable for perhaps an indefinite 
period, expressing in good measure the instinct which brought 
about the marvellous rally of the Empire in August 1914, 
and leaving further development to the future. The ad- 
vantage of such a partnership in the matter of India should 



VVorsfold: The Empire on the Anvil 



be obvious, when we reflect upon what must be the attitude 
of India to the Dominions. 

Federation of the Empire Mr. Keith dismisses as an 
ideal upon which the future alone can give us light. But 
to the question of independence of the Dominions he devotes 
an important chapter, and submits the argument of the 
Kingdom Papers to destructive analysis. It is more than 
doubtful whether Mr. Ewart's analogy of the Kingdom of 
Hanover will hold in modern international law and it is 
certain that, if the plan were entered into in the spirit which 
pervades the Kingdom Papers, it could mean only speedy 
separation. They embody the unpleasant memories of the 
Alaskan boundary arbitration, and with Mr. Ewart's criti- 
cism of this unfortunate passage in Canadian history Mr. 
Keith is in frank agreement. But the remainder of Mr. 
Ewart's argument to show that Great Britain has consis- 
tently sacrificed Canadian to Imperial interests where they 
conflicted is examined and refuted in convincing detail. 



The Empire on the Anvil. By \V. Basil Worsfold. 
London: Smith Elder & Co., 1916. Pp. xvi, 242. 

Mr. Worsfold believes with Lord Sydenham of Combe, 
who writes the introduction, that the "path of least resis- 
tance" along which we have been travelling in our instinctive 
search for some form of Imperial unity would have eventually 
ended in separation of the Dominions, but that the war has 
brought our great opportunity. For, in the first place, 
never again can we hope for so powerful and spontaneous 
an impulse to common action as in this time of stupendous 
common sacrifice, and, in the second place, never before 
have we seen so clearly what it might mean to preserve and 
develop one quarter of the habitable globe in the interests 
of these many peoples under one flag. 

His appeal is directed to the people of the United 
Kingdom. He firmly believes that under a form of federa- 
tion the British peoples could so manage their vast heritage 
and trust as to secure a greater material welfare than would 
ever otherwise be possible. But he is conscious of the immense 



lO 



Worsfold: The Empire on the Anvil 



sacrifice of sovereignty which the electors of the United 
Kingdom are called upon to make. Against this the material 
compensation will seem unevenly distributed. "What is 
certain is, that the masses of the electorate are conscious of 
their present power and will require a substantial equivalent 
for their sacrifice; and that the relief of the United Kingdom 
from a part of the burden of Imperial taxation is an advan- 
tage from which not they, but the (relatively) few electors 
of the income tax-paying classes will directly benefit". 
The indirect benefit will be certain but not immediately 
visible. "There is only one recompense which they will 
consider adequate, and only one ground upon which an 
effective appeal for their support can be based. It is the 
well founded belief that the organized strength of this 
British Empire will suffice to secure peace to the peoples 
within its borders, and, in concert with the kindred Anglo- 
Saxon system of the United States, to maintain the peace 
of the world". Between one fourth and one third of the 
voters who will have to decide the question will have been 
face to face with reality and "have come to see the things 
that really matter". "They will realize with pride that 
the British Empire has been and is, in Lord Rosebery's 
words, 'the greatest secular agency for good yet known to 
the worid', and recognize that to add to the sum of its 
resources and the efficiency of its administration will be the 
only fitting and sufficient recompense for the surrender of 
their exclusive power to guide its destinies: that, in a word, 
the federation of the British Empire will do more than 
any other single event to rid the world of the cruel and waste- 
ful militarism by which it has been so long oppressed" 

(pp. 138-9). 

Canadians have but a very faint realization of how 
much the vast problem before us is, to the greater part of 
the Empire and the Allies, an immediate and personal 
question of peace and the removal of a peril never felt in 
C anada. To Canada, as to ail North America, it is an 
abstract question of worid-peace, and vague apprehensions 
rise in the minds of some that in drawing together we shall 



Worsfold: The Empire on the Anvil 



II 



only be constructing what the world will regard as a menace. 
But Canada has shown herself open to the argument for " fair 
trade" and a policy of mutual commercial concessions, and 
It IS congenial doctrine that Canada will be doing the Empire 
her greatest service by developing her resources and accumu- 
latmg wealth. Now Mr. Worsfold has a sentence which 
cuts very deep into the question of world-peace: "Until 
the military regime has given place to an industrial regime 
throughout the world, the fiscal policy of nations will be 
governed by political and military, as well as economic 
considerations". We thought we had reached the industrial 
regime. Does it mean peace and would the arrival of an 
industrial Canada as another unit in the world of sovereign 
powers organized as business concerns be a contribution to 
the world's peace? 

But is Mr. Worsfold right in dismissing the "path of 
least resistance" as meaning eventual dissolution? Reduced 
to Its lowest dimensions, the practical question would appeal 
to tb- writer to be this: Shall we stay with our own, and 
manage as partners those interests which are vital to the 
whole, or, obsessed by doctrine, take a step which, unseen 
by the many, can mean only ultimate separation? Such a 
step can be made inevitable by both the United Kingdom 
and the Dominions, by an absolute refusal on the one side 
to share authority and on the other to share responsibility 
Let us avoid it. The immediate "path of least resistance" 
lies in developing the Imperial Conference and especially, 
as Mr. Keith would say, the Committee of Imperial Defence. 
The Imperial government can insist ovei-much upon the 
impossibility of sharing authority, and the Dominion gi n- 
ment can refuse to create permanent ministers to . .se 
with the Imperial authorities or to contribute to defence 
treated upon an Imperial basis, from a perception of the 
implications involved. Pass this point and the future is 
saved. Whether such a moral partnership shall go on to 
develop organic federation is something which may be trusted 
to the genius of Liberalism and of free institutions. It may 
or may not be true that the ultimate welfare of the whole and 



12 



VVorsfold: Thr Empire on the Anvil 



of the parts calls also, as Mr. Worsfold argues, for a common 
fiscal policy. We are well aware that the cruel logic of events 
will compel us to reopen questions we thought closed. But 
it is l)egging the question to argue with Mr. VVorsfold that 
the surrender of Imperial control of fiscal policy has lost 
the Empire the greater part of tb- surplus capital of Great 
Britain and checked the development of the Dominions, 
while increasing the resources of foreign states. Ir the 
matter, however, of the defence of the Empire we know that 
we do not in our hearts differ. We simply know that, if 
the great issue of to-day had depended upon the arrival of 
the contingents from the Dominions across from 3,000 to 
12,000 miles of ocean, what survived of civilization would 
have been mourning the fact that we British had at last 
failed to reconcile liberty and government. 

But Mr. Worsfold predicts the failure of "the path of 
least resistance" for another reason, and we cannot agree 
with him. The reason is, that the Imperial Conference or 
the Committee of Imperial Defence must at once become a 
chamber of delegates appointed by the parliaments of 
the Empire, and ipso facto superior to the Imperial Parlia- 
ment. Such a joint ministry works in Austria-Hungary, 
only because the Crown has executive power, and Mr. 
Worsfold dismisses gradual development in this direction 
as out of the question. This is 10 emphazise Mr. Asquith's 
position that authority cannot be shared and to refuse to 
trust the genius of liberty to transform voluntary into con- 
stiti'tional responsibility. 

Fgi a "half-way house" M.. Worsfold suggests the ad- 
mission of Indian representatives to the Imperial Conference 
and the Committee of Imperial Defence, and the creation 
of a "Dominions' Council of Delegates", the Dominions 
agreeing to participate in the defence of the Empire for a 
period of ten years upon a basis adjusted to two-thirds of 
the burden carried by the United Kingdom, and possessing 
the power of withholding supplies, the Foreign Secretary 
forming the constitutional link between this Council and 
the Imperial Parliament, the Council to meet once a year. 



Worsfold: Thk Empire on the Anvil 



13 



He thus makes a serious attempt to give a literal share of 
authority in the constitutional sense. One's first impression 
is that this amounts to inserting into the British constitution 
something like a diminished Roman tribunate. He makes 
no attempt to analyse the working of this half-way house. 

The fact surely remains that the Imperial Council and 
the Committee of Imperial Defence are the living core in 
our Imperial development, and that they are Ixjth the un- 
doubted outcome of the original Imperial PYderation League 
founded in 1884 under the chairmanship of the Right Hon. 
VV. E. Forster, Liberal M.P. for Bradford. 

It is interesting to observe among its resolutions the 
following statement of principles: 

That the object of the League is to secure by federation 
the permanent unity of the Empire. 

That no scheme of federation should interfere with the 
existing rights of local parliaments as regards local affairs. 

That any scheme of Imperial federation should combine 
or an equitable basis the resources of the Empire for the 
maintenance of the common interests and adefjuately pro- 
vide for an organized defence of common rights. 

That the League invites the support of men of all 
political parties. 

In Canada, as we know, the Canadian branch of the 
League, which was founded in 1885, emphasized the economic 
aspect of unity by advocating reciprocal tariffs. 

In 1891 the League resolved to approach ae Piime 
Minister, Lord Salisbury, with a definite request for the 
summoning of an Imperial convention ad hoc. Lord Salis- 
bury pointed out that some well considered plan was required 
before any such convention should be summoned. Thus 
challenged, the League drew up a plan in 1892, and pre- 
sented it to the new Prime Minister, Mr. Gladstone, on 
April 13, 1893, who refused to entertain it, as suggesting a 
reversal of the policy of free trade and as not sufficiently 
definite in regard to the principles upon which the burden 
of defence should be distributed. The central body of the 
League then voted to disband. 



14 



Worsfold: The Empire on the Anvil 



But the League cannot be said to have ended in failMre. 
Ihe report presented to Mr. Gladstone, which bore, among 
others, the names of Lord Brassey (Chairman), James 
Bryce, Sir Charles Tupper, is, as Mr. Worsfold justly points 
out, a remarkable document, anticipating and going beyond 
the advances made in the last twenty years. Nothing 
shows better than this report that "constitution-making" 
for the Empire is moi than a pastime. It is only by re- 
sponding to such challenges for the concrete as were made 
by Lord Salisbury and Mr. Gladstone that progress is made 
and mistakes in principle eliminated, as we slowly proceed 
to a goal which may be something other than any we have 
yet conceived. The report contains in outlin. , as will be 
seen, the Imperial Council of Mr. Z. A. Lash, and clause xxii 
deserves quotation : 

"The method of raising contributions would probably 
by general consent be left at the outset to the choice of the 
individual self-governing states. But future developm.^nts 
may disclose a means of raising the necessary contribucions 
upon some uniform principle throughout the Empire, by 
the allocation to this purpose of special sources of revenue 
or otherwise". 

The main portion of Mr. VVorsfold's book is given to 
the development of a complete federal constitution for the 
Empire. The parliament of this "British Union' consists 
of the Crown advised by its ministers or a cabinet of minis- 
ters; a "British Senate" of 200 members, 150 chosen from 
the white states, 50 from the coloured; and a "House of 
Representatives" of 400 members, 300 elected by the people 
of the white states, 100 by the coloured peoples (on a basis 
borrowed from our experience in Egypt and India). 

The Imperial sources of revenue will be mainly: (i) Im- 
perial duties on imports; (2) taxes on luxuries and certain 
non-necessary commodities within and without the Union; 
(3) income from unalienated property of the Crown ; (4) con- 
tributions from the state governments, on a basis of assess- 
ment which will have to allow at first for the fact that the 
Dominions have had to find immense sums of money for 



Lash: Defence and Foreign Affairs 



15 



internal development. " Broadly speaking, while the United 
Kingdom, as a state, holds a position analogous to that of a 
householder whose income is derived largely from inherited 
property and investments, the Dominions, as states, are 
in the position of a householder whose income is derived 
mainly from his yearly earnings". 

The argument for "fair trade" is presented again to the 
author's countrymen with great clarity and moderation. 
The present economic schism in the interests of the Empire 
can, he urges, be removed, and he lx>lieves that its removal 
is necessary for Imperial federation. But even more neces- 
sary is the removal of the doctrinal sensibilities of the Domi- 
nions, as will be perceived from Mr. Worsfold's account jf 
the proposals to the self-governing colonies by Mr. Lyttelton, 
the successor of Mr. Chamberlain as Colonial Secretary, 
dated April 20, 1905. Mr. Lyttelton had suggested a per- 
manent commission of enquiry and a permanent secretariat 
for an Imperial council (on which India should be lepre- 
sented). The Canadian government's reply began thus, 
"The C mmittee (of the Privy Council) at the outset are 
disposed to consider that any change in the title or status 
of the Cc lonial Conference should rather originate with and 
emanate from that body itself", and went on to say "they 
entertain with some doubt the proposal to change the name 
of the Colonial Conference to that of the Imperial Council, 
which they apprehend would be interpreted as marking a 
step distinctly in advance of the position hitherto attained 
in the discussion of the relations between the mother country 
and the colonies". 



Defence and Foreign Affairs. By Z. A. Lash. Toronto: 
The MacMillan Company of Canada, 191 7, Pp. 86. 

What federationists would call another "half-way 
house" has been constructed by Mr. Z. A. Lash. "Even 
an impracticable proposal", he modestly says, "often leads 
the argument along practical lines and produces some 
practical and beneficial result". He challenges Mr. Curtis's 



I6 



Lash: Defence and Foreign Affairs 



position that the government of dependencies cannot be 
separated from foreign affairs, and in an appendix frames an 
actual Agreement between the United Kingdom and the 
varioui, self-governing units of the Empire, constituting a 
central authority for defence and foreign policy. liriefly, 
this Agreement leaves the administiation of the oependencies 
and crown colonies and protectorates to the parliament of 
the United Kingdom and preserves to the Dominions "the 
autonomy which they now possess respecting all other affairs". 
This central authority— the " Imperial Council"— pK)sse3ses 
the right of eminent do.nain in the field of its jurisdiction 
and the power of recovery of expenses from other author- 
ities. "Never state the reasons for your verdict" is not a 
maxim of the author. The rest of the book forms a com- 
ment.; 'y on the Agreement and the reasons arc given with 
admirable lucidity and directness. Manifestly this "half- 
way house" is built a considerable distance beyond that 
of Mr. Worsfold. 

Mr. Lash is clearly convinced that the Dominions have 
reached the point when they wish to contribute their share 
to Imperial defence and to have a voice in the control of 
foreign policy, while as yet they are reluctant to undertake 
the administration of the dependencies. It may seem 
illogical that we should be willing to defend the dependencies, 
while loath to assist in working out their future, but the 
Empire itself is not a triumph of logic. It is at least a merit 
of this plan that it does not raise the formidable difficulties 
presented by the attitude of India to the Dominions. 

Mr. Lash purposely avoids inserting fiscal detail. An 
agreement between free peoples presupposes their ability 
to settle these on the lines of freedom. But it may fairly 
be said that defence as an Imperial question is left in 
an uncertain position. The Dominions have their fleets, 
but whether they contribute to a Imperial fleet is not 
clear. 



Hurd: The Nkw Imperial Tartnership 



17 



The New Imperial Partnership. Hy IVrcy Hurd and 



London: John Murray, 191 5. 



Archibald Hurd. 
Pp. xvi, 322. 

Readers of the Hurds will know what to expect in this 
argument for tn^tinK defence as an Iniptrial (|i!est ion- 
bluff and trench^.. L common-sense, f.ccasionally harsh and 
repellant, b it sincere; not without idealism, but in immedi- 
ate touch with facts, which cannot Ik- set aside, and must be 
treated as facts until they are transformed. Their analysis 
of alliance and partnership is nee<llessly offensi\c, but it 
cannot be gainsaid. The ugly possibilities of international 
trade rivalry are once more presrntetl in a form which chills 
the heart. But frankly to face the facts of international 
relations is not to despair of their modification. We may 
hope that militarism is broken, but armaments will remain. 
Canada's fiscal relation-, with the United Kinjjdom, 
terminating at length in the denunciation of the treaties 
with Belgium and the German Zollvereiu, are treated with 
some detail. It was in the year following ihe vigorous de- 
monstration of Canadian fiscal autonomy in the "National 
Policy" campaign of 1878 that the first approaches were 
made for a treaty of reciprocity. "In these Canadian 
approaches we have the germ of the Empire preference 
movement which has since inspired so much of the thought 
of the statesmen of the Dominions". 

The authors are not disconcerted with the temporary 
character of all Imperial relations or the impossibility of 
forecasting any constitutional reconstruction of the Empire, 
which as Sir Robert Borden reminds us "is in some respects 
a mere disorganization". "Believing in the British Empjire 
as one of the most potent instruments for difT- sing the 
blessings of law and order, freedom and duty, service and 
mercy throughout the world— and, what is for us of great 
importance, our particular brand of instrument — realizing 
also that no self-governing portion of the Empire conceives 
a nobler future and a greater destiny for itself outside rather 
than inside that Empire, we shall follow the traditional 
lines of British wisdom a»"' ^et on with our work together, 



I8 



THR CoMMONWKALIl OF NaTTIONS 



kn«.\vinK that tht- machinery of the stale will Ik- adapted to 
our new needs as they arise. Our prime concern, as practical 
people, must Ih', In Mr. Fisher's words, to get Into the closest 
posslbl' .)ueh with one another In the day-to-day relation- 
ships ( ..fe". 

There Is abundance of material In the l)Of)k for a working 
knowledge of what Is practically Involved In the problem of 
Imperial armaments, and a particular interest attaches to 
the examination in the light of the war of Mr. Churchill's 
speech of iviarch 17, 1914, with the Australian comment 
upon it and of Sir William Nicholson's Memorandum to 
the Imperial Conference in 1909. 



The Commonwealth of Nations. London: Macmillan & 
Co., 1916, Pp. ill, xviii, 722. 

This fine volume is of composite authorship. Mr. 
Curtis acts simply as editor. We have here a worV worthy 
to stand beside The Wealth of Nations and destined perhaps 
to exert a similar Influence throughout the English-speaking 
world. It is a most noble presentation of the growth and 
genius of the British Empire. One will search in vain for 
a juster conception of the meaning of law in this great develop- 
ment. We might describe the work as an attempt to set forth 
the secular growth of the western ideal of democratic citizen- 
ship, inspired by the buoyant belief that our vast Empire 
will eventually complete its task of nation-building, and 
that it will work out the onciliation of freedom and govern- 
ment, liberty of the individual and the aspirations of nations, 
within the compass of a single state. There is also dis- 
cernible i'l the background the hope of a common future 
for the English-speaking peoples, and the quiet conviction 
that these are stages on the way to a distant world-state. 

The experience of the Gr^ek world, of the dual monarchy 
of England and Scotland, of Irish history, of the eflort to 
induce the American colonies to pay a portion of the ex- 
penses of their own def'iire, which led to external taxation. 
rebellion and the great ,-,chism in the English-speaking race, 
and, lastly, the struggle of the thirteen liberated States to 



Curtis: I'loulkm of tiik CoMMONwtiALXH 19 

find some iinifyinR prituiple which sh..uld cnahlo thorn to 
carry on a coriK.rati- life, arc- all used to ,x.int thr moral 
that ixopK. have no consecutive interest in a matttr for 
V. hich they arc not called upon to make some direct, con- 
scious sacrifice. 

In regard to all this, two questions force themselves 
uixm us. no(«s -he c.mpletion of Br--- h citizenship for 
Canadians demand a unitary state? Is „ unitary state the 
iK'st expression of this like-minde.lness and community of 
Ideals and past e.x{HTiences which have never in human 
history displayed a greater power than at this moment? 

Yet we greatly misinterpret the work if we conceive it 
as the expression of racial pride or of the human eagerness 
to give immutable form to living achievement. "O stay 
thou golden moment" is not the note, but a sense of duty 
so profound, so stirring, that the results will Ije carried on 
whatever l^e the form that .he Empire will and must take 
m Its effort to discharge the heavy obligations of which we 
were never so conscious as now. 



The Problem of the Commonwealth. By Lionel Curtis. 

Toronto: The Macmi'.lan Company of Canada, 

1916. Pp. xii. 247 and / opendix. 
The unfortunate results of ti.e sudden presentation to 
the Imperial Conference of 191 1 of a subject of vast and 
paramount importance, for which the members were abso- 
lutely unprepared, cannot be too deeply deplored The 
chief blame must rest upon Sir Joseph Ward, who, at the 
last moment, threw over the proposal forwarded by New 
Zealand for an Imperial advisory council with representation 
from all parts of the Empire, self-governing or not. As a 
body the Conference apparently failed even to recognize 
that the scheme which Sir Joseph did present was really a 
form of federation. As might have been foreseen, Sir Joseph 
was unable to defend his case against the f\ro of hasty criti- 
cism, fundamentals were never detached and Mr. Asquith 
crowned the unhappy discussion by the dilemma which he 
constructed and the now historic phrase "authority cannot 



20 



Curtis: Problem of the Commonwealth 



be shared". Mr. Asquith himself may to-day regret the 
manner in which he terminated the discussion as much as 
Sir Josepl. Ward the precipitation of it. It was a lawyer's 
treatment of an issue which transcends doctrine. 

We have seen the concrete results of the challenge made 
by Lord Salisbury and Mr. Gladstone for a definite plan. 
It is perhaps not too much to say that Mr. Curtis would 
appear to have accepted the phrase "authority cannot 
be shared" as a similar challenge and as axiomatic truth, 
with the result that the Problem of the Commonwealth is 
marred by a provocative dogmatism which diverts attention 
from the real nobility and power of the main argument. 
For the meaning of the Empire, the splendour of its oppor- 
tunities and the responsibility devolving upon its citizens 
have never found a worthier interpreter. We regret the seer 
in the assessor. Having once accepted the categories set 
by Mr. Asquith, he is carried away by the very vehemence 
of his belief in democracy. 

A footnote on page 102 forcibly condenses the practical 
problem before us: "the miscarriage of Allied diplomacy in 
the Balkans was largely due to the fact that the cabinets 
in London, Paris, Petrograd and Rome were unable to make 
definite proposals to the Balkan powers until the terms had 
been settled and accepted by all four. What would the 
position have been if London could have agreed to nothing 
without the concurrence of Ottawa, Melbourne, Wellington 
and Pretoria?" 

If, as we vividly realize, there are interests of the whole 
which transcend the interests of the parts, and if the United 
Kingdom and the Dominions will undertake to handle 
what is common in common, they will assuredly work out 
some living solution of the problem. 

In the Hibbert Journal of October, 1916, and January 
1917, Mr. C. Delisle Bums criticises both the Problem and 
the Commonwealth with evident animus. Mr. Curtis is the 
administrator, impatient of the living forces of society, and 
a well known Hobbesian! The latter article is interesting 



Curtis: Problem of the Commonwealth 



21 



inasmuch as it indicates the trend of much controversy in 
the immediate future upon the nature of the state. 

In the Nineteenth Century and After of March, 1917 
(pp. 481-493), the Right Hon. Herbert Samuel suggests a 
tentative Organization oj the Empire which also dismisses 
Mr. Asquith's dilemma. His "half-way house" has two 
compartments: the present Imperial Cabinet has four 
meml)ers added to it, one from each Dominion, and a small 
rcprescntati\e Assembly is jiroposed which "would initiate 
legislation but not enact it". "The Imperial Executive 
would present its financial and legislative proposals. The 
Assembly would consider them; examine them perhaps 
through its committees; would debate them from the stand- 
point of the scA-eral states represented; would shape them 
so as to command the best prospect of support in the terri- 
tories in which they would apply; would finally pass them 
in the form of bills. Those bills would then be transmitted 
to the Parliaments of the United Kingdom and of the Domi- 
nions, and, if they concurred therein, to the governments of 
the dependencies and colonies, for their consideration". 
He points out with much force a practical difficulty in the 
problem of a representative chamber: "Multiplicity of 
elections exhausts the force of democracy. The indifference 
of the voter is the deadliest disease of the democratic system." 
With western experience he might have added that a growing 
distrust of representative institutions is a significant tendency 
in modem democracy and must be reckoned with. 

The Political Science Quarterly of September, 191 6 
(pp. 445-452), contains under the title Reconstruction of the 
British Empire a careful and sympathetic analysis of the 
Problem by Professor E. L. Schuyler of Columbia Uni- 
versity. His personal conviction is perhaps voiced in the 
remark: "There is reason for thinking that to-day rational 
adjustment is in the ascendancy" over "trust to time" and 
"the gradual progress of forces — already at work". 

But the most striking constructive criticism yet offered 
of the Problem has been made by Professor George 
Burton Adams of Yale, in a paper in the Yale Review of 



22 



Curtis: Problem of the Commonwealth 



July, 1916, on British Imperial Federation after the War. 
Professor Adams points out that to Mr. Edward Jenkins 
belongs the honour of "crystallizing into definite form what 
men were thinking" in two articles contributed to the Con- 
temporary Review (January and February, 1871), while the 
first "practical statesman" to discuss the subject was Mr. 
W. E. Forster, in an important speech delivered in 1875. 
Ideas then awoke which will find at least some tentative, 
practical embodiment at the close of the war. 

"I am convinced", says Professor Adams, "that the 
future historian will say two things of the South African war. 
One, that its influence in the rise of Imperial unity was no 
less creative ihan that of our civil war in the formation 
of a higher ideal and a more real existence of national unity 
in the United States. The other will be that the B'^^r war 
was the most cfTective preparation actually mad or in 
one sense possible to make, for the present greater war". 
Had Germany clearly perceived the meaning of the South 
African war, "it is highly probable that this war would 
never have occurred". "Such an experience is epochal and 
creative, and the Empire has never since been the same". 
And after the mighty rally at the present hour, "never again 
can there be any question as to where the colonies stand in 
their relation to the Empire, nor any doubt as to the exist- 
ence of an Imperial unity which is in all essential respects 
national. Never before has it been shown, nor is it likely 
that it can ever be shown again in so dramatic a way, that 
in the modem world geographical distance has disappeared 
r id that a nation may exist planted on all the continents 
and divided by all the seas". 

It appears to the writer that these words of Professor 
Adams go to the very heart of the great problem and that 
they dispose of any argument that the strivings of the 
past generation embody simply the artificial. The last 
two sentences are particularly significant. This is really 
the theme of Professor George M. Wrong's paper on The 
Growth of Nationalism in the British Empire (printed in 
the American Historical Review, October, 191 6, pp. 45- 



Curtis: Problem of the Commonwealth 23 

57): the Empire is a nation of nations. "Let us dismiss 
forever the superstition that there is any magic in race to 
hold people together and effect political unity. In the 
present war the most determined and irreconcilable opponents 
are two great states of the same Teutonic race. It is partner- 
ship in common liberties which unites people. The growth 
of the new nationalism in the British Empire is just the 
growth of liberty". 

Have we not here a hint, a clew for a distant world- 
order, growing by partnership and not by fission? "Race" 
said the veteran French statesman, jVI. Ollivicr, "has limits 
which cannot be overstepped; fatherland has none; it may 
expand and develop unceasingly; it might become all man- 
kind". 

To return to Professor Adams, who at the time of 
writing had apparently despaired of his people's accession 
to the Allies, "From a distance we can see, and because of 
our distance with good right we may judge that these are 
indeed high attempts, as lofty political conceptions as any 
which mankind has yet tried to make real with hope of 
success. We can see also that, if success is reached in this 
endeavour, there will have been also achieved the utmost 
which is possible under present conditions in the realization, 
security and extension of liberty i". ^r all the world". 

The particular criticism which Professor Adams makes 
of Mr. Curtis's argument should be carefully considered. 
He finds an Imperi. ^ parliament "the weak spot in the 
whole plan". "To the American student, at least, the 
question would seem obvious whether our form of Cabinet 
government, by which all need of an Imperial parliament 
could be avoided, would not better suit the case". 



The rapid increase of material in this field threatens to 
make the task of reviewing a very serious undertaking. 
As we go to press, Mr. Walter Eves Wismer has just published 
the first of a series of eight volumes on Pan-Britannic Con- 
federation, and the Manchester Guardian (March 20th) 
comes to hand with an "Empire number", containing a 



24 



Curtis: Problem of the Commonwealth 



highly important symposium in which Lord Bryce asserts 
that "the impulse which the war lias given to the sense of 
Imperial unity must not be lost". We must close with but 
a reference to a series of lectures delivered in the University 
of London in 1916 on The Empire and the Future (London: 
Macmillan& Co., 1916; pp. xv, no.) It would be difficult 
to find more sanity of judgment and creative outlook 
within the same number cf pages. The introduction by Mr. 
A. D. Steel-JVIaitland is wholly admirable. Sir Charles 
Lucas treats Empire and Democracy, the Master of 
Balliol, The People and the Duties of Empire-, Mr. H. A. L. 
Fisher, Imperial Administration (of interest to Canadians 
as throwing light upon the working of the Civil Service); 
and Mr. Philip Kerr, Commoniuealth and Empi"^, with the 
candour and elevation which we look for in all thai he writes. 



Anyone who wishes either to join 
or to form a Round Table Group 
is invited to communicate with the 
Secretary, The Round Table, 84 
St. Mary Street, Toronto, who will 
furnish all necessary information. 



1